Lumbar Disc Bulge Rehabilitation Update

 

You may remember my previous posts about me prolapsing two lumbar discs back in June.

It has certainly been a very humbling and educational experience! As I said in a previous post, I do think everything happens for a reason and without doubt, it has made me a more educated, experienced and altruistic practitioner.

At times my patience has been tested. Because discs have very little blood supply, the time it takes them to heal fully is normally around 18-months. In the first few months progress was very slow. So slow, I really couldn’t see any progress from day to day. I have had a few injuries over the years, but mainly muscular or ligamentous injuries. I’ve even had grade 1 muscle strains and been back in the gym or back playing sport within a couple of days.

I guess the worst injury I had before this one was when I had a grade 1-2 sprain of my right anterior cruciate ligament about 12 years ago. Following a diligent corrective exercise programme it took around 6 months to get back to normal.

As someone who likes to throw weights around in the gym, rehab programmes aren’t the most exciting for me, as they mainly involve lots of floor exercises with low or no weight (except gravity) with slow tempos and lots of repetitions.

This time around it has been frustrating as I haven’t been able to lift heavy weights, play tennis or go to yoga. What I have been doing is diligently following a corrective exercise programme (including a few tips from Paul Chek), ensuring I’m getting adequate rest and sleep and being very careful how I sit at home and at work.

Until about three weeks ago, my progress seemed extremely slow. I still had numbness in my left big toe (from nerve impingement in the lower back) and there was still neural tension in my back if I flexed the spine forwards.

However, the last three weeks, I have noticed a definite speeding up of the recovery process. I began loading the spine with barbells in my workouts with no negative reactions, except I had severe muscle soreness in my legs as they had become SO deconditioned.

I am still continuing to strengthen the muscles that help to stabilise my lumbar spine as well as lifting slightly heavier weights. As I’m not able to play tennis or do yoga, I have upped my gym sessions to 6 times per week and I am feeling stronger and more energetic every day.

I now have almost normal range of motion in my lumbar spine without any symptoms and have just a tiny amount of numbness in my left big toe.

It probably took many years for my discs to prolapse, so I shouldn’t expect them to heal quickly. This is a lesson for everybody to understand. When it has taken many years (and sometimes decades) for a health challenge to get bad enough that you have to do something about it, be patient with the healing process. Do all the right things and allow your body to heal itself in its own good time.

Thanks for reading and I’ll keep you posted on my progress, so stay tuned…

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